2.12.2014

Ashley's Awkward Anecdotes, Pt. 2

Let's start with the awkward way my hair poofs out on the side, and I can't do anything about it. Not to mention this lovely bathroom selfie...

It's been a while since I've done one of these (part one here), and I've had some truly delightful experiences lately. Please, enjoy:

{#1}I've had the "alternate organist" calling for several months now. When I received this call, I was under the impression that I was just to play when the main organist was unable to make it. This worked all fine and dandy for a while. But, unbeknownst to me, about a month ago the main organist and the ward music chair sat and had a little chat and decided that he and I would switch off every week. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, it would have been if someone had told me about this new arrangement....

Flash back to a few Sundays ago, where I walk into church approximately 2 minutes late (my roomies and I run on Mormon Standard Time) and pick a bench towards the back, near some friends. As soon as we get settled in, a friend nudges me and says "umm... were you supposed to play the organ today?" I look up and see nobody sitting at the organ. Uh oh. Then, my gaze flicks to the bishop who has a panicked look on his face and mouths "will you play???" I'm sure he saw the terror in my eyes as I simultaneously nodded yes AND noticed that everyone in the congregation already had their hymn books out. They were just waiting... For me. Yikes. I began my death march up to the stand. >>>Here, it's probably important to note that organs are difficult instruments. Each one is different, and it takes some figuring out to get it to sound right. It's really NOT like a piano, folks. That's why, when I play the organ, I always arrive early in order to get the sound just right, and then to play prelude before the meeting begins.<<< Since I didn't have that luxury this time, I just scurried to the bench as quickly as I could, hit a random preset, and started playing. It sounded a little off for an opening hymn, but I was already going and there was no looking back... Pause. This story is already awkward enough, right? Oh, there's more. Get ready to cringe.

Of course, right after the opening hymn and prayer, there was no "ward business" so it was just straight onto the sacrament hymn. Since the organ sounded weird on the first song, I just decided to hit another random preset (big mistake) and hope it sounded better. So, yeah, the Sacrament hymn had trumpets that day.

{#2}Another organ story! Hooray! Every year, Utah State holds a Joseph Smith memorial fireside in the Spectrum and invites an apostle to speak.  This year, Elder Christofferson was the speaker, and I was assigned to be the organist, playing both prelude and the opening hymn. Brother Salmond (the LDV director) is very particular about how prelude is done at these meetings. He wants it to be completely non-stop, and only familiar hymns so the choir can hum along. Since I can't really flip to new hymns in the book while playing at the same time, I had my dear friend Katelyn come and sit with me, and have a new one ready for me each time I finished one. Everything was going just swell (ha. Organ joke. Did anyone get that?... okeee anyweeeeee) when all of a sudden, the chatter completely stops and the place gets quiet. Everyone knows what that means - an Apostle of The Lord is entering the room. I wasn't nervous until he literally walked up the stairs not a foot away from the organ and nodded at us. Both Katelyn and I got extremely distracted at this moment, though luckily my fingers were just kind of on autopilot. Then, before I knew it, the song I was playing was over, and of COURSE this happened to be at the precise moment when Elder Christofferson arrived at his seat. He was ready to sit down, and I had nothing to play! I had a moment of sheer panic. My mind completely froze. Dear Katelyn frantically flipped page after page, but naturally, we were in the sacrament hymns and there was nothing familiar in sight. Let me make this clear: I don't blame her for this mishap. I'm sure it would've been better to just play whatever was in front of me rather than just freezing like I did. But of course I couldn't think that quick on my feet! While I'm sure it was only about 20 seconds, it felt like years of horrible, piercing silence. Sooooo very awkward. Finally, Elder Christofferson just sat down, and along with the chuckles and chortles from the crowd, I started a new song.

Yeah. I did that in front of thousands of people, and an APOSTLE. No biggie.

{#3}This last one really can't top the first two, but I still think it's worth sharing. Plus, it's more funny than just kind of mortifying, so you can all relax a bit now. :) I was at FHE the other night and we were playing this stupid game reminiscent of catch phrase, but you could only use one word to describe the item. Of course, I had the lovely privilege of being first up. As evidenced in my two previous stories, I'm not quick on my feet. Here were my three words: Piano, Michael Jackson, Donut. And how did I describe them?
Piano: pointed at the piano in the room and said, "that". (which I promptly got reprimanded for. "No Pointing!")
Michael Jackson: "white". (WHAT? I literally could've said sooooo many other things. Like, "thriller". Or "glove". Or even "singer".)
and... Donut: "circle".  Shockingly, nobody guessed that one.

Real good, guys. Real good.

Hope you enjoyed my awkward life!

Happy Wednesday. :)

1 comment:

Catherine said...

You are so good to even play the organ...it's so hard to play!! You're amazing, Ashley. I love you and I miss chatting with you...you always know how to make people smile and you are so faithful. Love ya.